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Arthur Dollhouse Kit
Doll House woodworking plans.
How to make a 
Tapered Leg
10/01

Need one of these?
You can't make a tapered leg without one!

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Tapered legs add elegance to a project with a minimal work. They make your table or stool look lighter, less "boxy", and there a snap to produce! First you need to make or buy one of these jigs! I made that one. 
It's just two pieces of wood with a hinge at one end and an adjustable piece of hardware on the end. Then screw on a wooden stop and you're ready to go! You can even screw on a handle to make it easier to control.
To set up the jig for your legs, you first need to determine a few dimensions. My table legs are going to be 23-1/4" long and the taper is going to start 4" from the top. So at the this point I'll measure the thickness of my leg (1-1/2") to the miter slot, like in the pic at left.
I'm planning to remove only 1/4" at the bottom, so at the bottom of the leg, I want 1-1/4" between the jig and the miter slot. You'll need to check both measurements as you adjust, as movement at one end will effect the other. 
Now you can slide the rip fence over to the blade. If you plan to run the tapered part thru the jointer afterwards to remove sawmarks, leave a little space between the tooth and the stock. 
You might also want to check to make sure the jig will cut off what you plan by sliding the jig and it's stop up to the blade and measuring the distance. "Measure twice---cut once!"
Typically you taper the insides of the legs, so if you have already chopped out mortises, you'll be tapering the sides where ever your mortises are, like in the pic at left. Be very careful making this cut, especially at the end, your fingers will be close to the blade. 
Think this cut out in your mind before you make it, and keep your fingers on your hands!
There we go! I now have legs for my vanity and it's bench! Since this is a project for a small child, I kept the taper to a minimum, since this piece will probable receive a fair amount of abuse. More taper would look even better, but might be more fragile. 

Back to the Child's Vanity

Now here's a taper jig worth building. Not only is it an adjustable taper jig, but it's also perfect for making angled cuts on wide boards, and for straight-line ripping on your table saw. The jig has a built-in system that allows you to adjust the size of the taper, making it easy to remove the exact amount of material you want. In fact, once the jig is adjusted you can cut four identical tapers in a matter of minutes -- without changing the basic setup of the jig. 
You can get the plans here!

 
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